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Mediterranean Diet and Risk of Dementia

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Dementia is a major global health challenge, as its burden on society will increase with population aging. Given the lack of effective pharmaceutical treatment for common types of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, research interest in lifestyle modifications that could prevent, postpone the clinical syndrome or decelerate progression of dementia is growing. Among the various dietary patterns that were tested for their effects on cognition, the traditional Mediterranean diet (MeDi) has shown promising results. This review aims to summarize the epidemiological evidence on the effects of MeDi on the prevention of dementia, presenting data from cross-sectional as well as longitudinal observational studies conducted both in Mediterranean and non-Mediterranean countries. These findings have been also reproduced in the context of one recent randomizedcontrolled clinical trial. Postulated mechanisms of action that may account for the potential protective effect of MeDi on cognitive impairment will be briefly discussed. Despite the fact that the link between MeDi and cognitive decline has been only explored for less than a decade, data on efficacy is rapidly increasing and allows optimism that MeDi could emerge as an alternative prophylactic treatment for dementia.
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Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Public Health; cognitive decline; dementia; mediterranean diet; primary prevention

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2015

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  • Current Alzheimer Research publishes peer-reviewed frontier review and research articles on all areas of Alzheimer's disease. This multidisciplinary journal will help in understanding the neurobiology, genetics, pathogenesis, and treatment strategies of Alzheimer's disease. The journal publishes objective reviews written by experts and leaders actively engaged in research using cellular, molecular, and animal models. The journal also covers original articles on recent research in fast emerging areas of molecular diagnostics, brain imaging, drug development and discovery, and clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease. Manuscripts are encouraged that relate to the synergistic mechanism of Alzheimer's disease with other dementia and neurodegenerative disorders. Book reviews, meeting reports and letters-to-the-editor are also published. The journal is essential reading for researchers, educators and physicians with interest in age-related dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Current Alzheimer Research provides a comprehensive 'bird's-eye view' of the current state of Alzheimer's research for neuroscientists, clinicians, health science planners, granting, caregivers and families of this devastating disease.
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